New York City Mayor Eric Adams, the NYC Test & Trace Corps (Test & Trace) and New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH), in partnership with the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation (NYC Parks), took action today to bolster New York City’s COVID-19 preparedness by continuing to expand its network of at-home distribution sites to NYC Parks’ network of 57 pools, and nature and recreation centers. Mayor Adams announced the distribution of an additional 35,000 COVID-19 tests to NYC Parks locations for their initial monthly allocation. The distribution measures further expand the city’s network of distribution partners participating in the city’s At-Home Test Distribution Program to 1,220, including over 1,000 community organizations, libraries, cultural institutions, houses of worship, and elected offices. The distribution effort joins other measures to blunt the worst impacts of the current rise in cases, including the distribution of 82,000 COVID-19 courses of treatment to date.
The city has also already distributed approximately 35 million at-home tests to schools and participating community organizations over the last six months, ensuring free at-home testing — which New Yorkers strongly prefer — is widely accessible to New Yorkers across the five boroughs. The rapid results provided by at-home tests allow New Yorkers to know their COVID health status in minutes and then immediately seek antiviral treatment through New York City’s unique COVID-19 Hotline if positive. New Yorkers who test positive using an at-home test are encouraged to call the hotline at 212-COVID19 to take advantage of free, at-home delivery of COVID-19 treatments.
“Today, we have access to new tools that the city could not readily supply six months ago, so it’s never been easier for New Yorkers to get a free at-home test or access COVID-19 treatments in New York City,” said Mayor Adams. “We can now give New Yorkers answers and reassurance within minutes, instead of making them wait days or weeks. It’s clear that New Yorkers prefer the reliability, the convenience, and the immediate results provided by at-home tests, so I encourage all New Yorkers to go out and pick up a free at-home test at one of our 1,200 distribution sites as soon as they can to remain prepared, and to take advantage of the life-saving treatments we now have readily available to fight this virus. With NYC Parks now offering up dozens of additional locations to access these vital tools during the summer, I know we can continue to win the war against COVID.”
“Today’s announcement that at-home test kits will be distributed in parks puts the right resources in people’s hands to help protect themselves and their families against the virus,” said Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Anne Williams-Isom. “Thank you to our partners in government and everyone that will be out distributing the kits.”
“At this stage of the pandemic, we have treatments that can save your life. Time matters though, and rapid test results are critical because the sooner you get your test result the faster you can start a life-saving treatment like Paxlovid,” said Dr. Ted Long, executive director, NYC Test & Trace Corps; senior vice president for Ambulatory Care and Population Health, NYC Health + Hospitals. “I want to thank NYC Parks for creating more than 50 new sites where New Yorkers can pick up free home tests, so that all New Yorkers can have fast, reliable results at the first sign of symptoms. To find a site near you, go to nyc.gov/covidtest, and if you test positive you can call us at 212-COVID19 to speak to a clinician in a matter of minutes about our life saving treatments.”
“During the pandemic New Yorkers have come to know our parks as more than a go to for recreational needs, they were hospitals, testing sites and places to get masks,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Sue Donoghue. “We are always been happy to do our part, and we look forward to helping expand the distribution of at-home Covid-19 tests to help keep people safe and healthy across the city.”
“We are seeing a sustained increase in COVID transmission in recent days driven by new, more transmissible variants like BA.4 and BA.5,” said DOHMH Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan. “We’re recommending New Yorkers wear high-grade masks in public indoor settings; stay home if you feel ill; get tested frequently, including with these rapid at home tests; make use of easy access to treatment, especially Paxlovid. Call your provider or 212-COVID19 to get access to treatment, or visit one of our mobile test-to-treat sites. Partnerships like the ones being launched today, to get test kits to the city, will be a major step to help New Yorkers protect themselves and each other and slow the spread of COVID.”
Making at-home testing widely available has ensured New Yorkers can test themselves immediately if they have symptoms, so they can safely head to work, to school, or to other gatherings with family or friends, or be immediately connected to life-saving COVID-19 treatments in the event of a positive test.
In addition to more than 1,100 other sites, beginning tomorrow, Wednesday July 13, 2022, at-home tests will be available at 57 NYC Parks pools, recreation, nature, and visitor centers for free. Note that tests at public pools will only be available to pool patrons. All locations where New Yorkers can pick up an at-home test, including NYC Parks distribution sites can be found at nyc.gov/covidtest. New sites include:
At-home test distribution through Test & Trace’s network of 1,220 prominent cultural sites, library branches, and, now, 57 additional NYC Parks locations brings critical self-testing resources to areas of need at familiar locations in all five boroughs. Test & Trace makes weekly deliveries of at-home tests to participating cultural sites and libraries, where they are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. Additionally, over 917 community and faith-based organizations — including 253 houses of worship — have already signed up to regularly distribute at-home tests. Any New York City-based community organization that would like to participate as an at-home test distribution partner is encouraged to sign up online.
New York continues to expand the number of sites to pick up an at-home test and New Yorkers can find the location most convenient to them and the hours of operationfor these sites byvisiting the city’s COVID-19 testing page. New Yorkers with a disability who need assistance or have questions regarding at-home test kits should call 311. Those who are deaf or hard of hearing and use American Sign Language can call via video phone at 646-396-5830.
Multiple COVID-19 treatments are available for people ages 12 and older, and can be delivered to New Yorkers’ homes for free. For more information on COVID-19 treatments, please call 212-COVID19 and press 9 or visit DOHMH’s COVID-19 treatments website.
Calling 212-COVID19 provides New Yorkers an immediate connection to a clinician who can refer them to monoclonal antibody treatment or prescribe antiviral medications, like Paxlovid, and arrange to have it delivered to their home that same day for free.
NYC Health + Hospitals is the largest public health care system in the nation serving more than a million New Yorkers annually in more than 70 patient care locations across the city’s five boroughs. A robust network of outpatient, neighborhood-based primary and specialty care centers anchors care coordination with the system’s trauma centers, nursing homes, post-acute care centers, home care agency, and MetroPlus health plan—all supported by 11 essential hospitals. Its diverse workforce of more than 43,000 employees is uniquely focused on empowering New Yorkers, without exception, to live the healthiest life possible. For more information, visit www.nychealthandhospitals.org and stay connected on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/NYCHealthSystem or Twitter at @NYCHealthSystem.